Joni Bakaradze died 18 years ago, at the age of 22, but instead of burying him in a cemetery, his family decided to keep his body preserved so that his son, who was just two at the time of his death, could see his father’s face.
For the first four years after Joni died, his mother, Tsiuri Kvaratskhelia, used embalming fluid to preserve his body, but after having a dream on night in which someone told her to use vodka instead, the woman from Bashi village, Georgia, switched to spirit liquid poultices. She has to use them every night, or the corpse will turn black. During the first ten years, Tsiuri changed her dead son’s clothes on his birthdays, but as she got older her illnesses prevented her from taking care of Joni the way she used too. She says the lack of care quickly becomes visible on his body, but as soon as she uses her alcohol-based embalming formula, his face turns white again.